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The Heart of a Missionary Pt. 2
Stats: 6,301 words / Reading Time: 31.51 mins

Published: Thursday 22nd October 2020

The Heart of a Missionary Pt. 2 is read 841 times on CentreNDL.org 841

The Heart of a Missionary Pt. 2

Examining the Apostle Paul as Case Study


Listen To Podcast: The Heart of a Missionary: Apostle Paul As A Case Study

It is pertinent that every son and daughter understands that our mission assignment is so important is so in the heart of God and it must be the burning desire of every son of the kingdom. Because, this is what we are here for. We are not here to have fun; we are not here to joke or play, we are here for the kingdom to come and for His will to be done. Yesterday in the evening Bible School we looked at The Heart of the Missionary, and the Holy Spirit led us into a case study of the prophet Jonah. Today we are also going to be looking at The Heart of the Missionary, and we are going to be looking at Apostle Paul as our case study.

 

We can call yesterday part one and today part two for ease of reference. But today we are looking at Apostle Paul as case study. So, we are going to start our observation from Acts 7 we want to have a little bit of background into who this man was. Act 7:58, gave us a little background on who this person was. This story was talking about how Stephen was stoned to death. And in verse 58 it says;and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.” That was the first time we were going to hear about this young man called “Saul”. It says they were protesters; they were the people that were angry with Stephen because of the things he was saying and how the matter was cutting their heart. And they were so upset in their heart and they decided to stone the young man to death. And those that were doing it, brought their belongings and possessions and laid it at the feet of the young man called Saul. So, Saul gave consent to the stoning of Stephen. 

 

In Act 8:1-3, the Bible says: Now Saul (giving us more details about this person) was consenting to his death (talking about the death of Stephen). At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.3 As for Saul (as for this young man), he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.”

 

This was a background of who Saul was that became Apostle Paul. He was a man that was committed to persecuting the Church. He was zealous for persecuting the church because he felt he was pleasing God. (We are looking at the Heart of the Missionary). At this point in the life of Paul, He was a Pharisee, He was one that was devoted to the law, in fact he learnt the law from the best; Gamaliel. He has such a resume that was intimidating. At that time, he was like the big boy. He was like the promising star that will be the next person to become like a chief priest at that time. They were grooming Saul to become an important figure in religion. So, he was passionate about his religion. Saul was devoted to his religion. He was so consumed with zeal for what he believed was right and correct but he was walking in error.

 

In our life’s journey, we must understand when we come in contact with people, don’t write them off. Don’t be too quick to right any man off. Because God has a unique plan and purpose for every individual. But what we want to look at from the background of Paul, is that he was Saul at the time and a man devoted to religion. For him, he was a missionary, but his mission was wrong, and we are going to see it. Act 9:1-9 shows us Saul that believed he was on a mission.

 

Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. (this was his mission) As he journeyed, he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”  

 

This was a man that thought he was working for God; this was a man that knew the Torah. He could quote it well. He was zealous, passionate, he felt he was serving God but God interrupted his journey, his mission that he thought he was doing for God. And he had an encounter here, and see the question that the Lord posed to him: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? And he said, “Who are You, Lord? “Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”6 So he, trembling and astonished, (he was shocked) he said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”

 

Because we must understand that God is on a particular mission right now in the church visiting sons that he wants to convert to Paul. Men and women that have thread on the part of religion, thinking they are on a mission for God, not knowing they are actually persecuting the one they think they are serving. not knowing they are working against the one to which they think they are serving; not knowing they are doing a disservice not service. And God is calling our attention to this. “He said; I am Jesus the one you are persecuting. And Saul said Lord what do you want me to do?”

 

I thought I was going in the right direction, I thought I was following the right path and Lord you have intercepted me, what do you want me to do? A very important question! “Then the Lord said to him, “Arise” remember when we were looking at Prophet Jonah yesterday, when God was going to give an instruction to Prophet Jonah; God said “arise, go to Nineveh and cry over that great city.” Now see what Jesus is saying to Saul here; “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”  So, every mission, from Christ, from God, starts with you arising. You must arise from where you are.

 

For you to arise does it not talk about the fact that you are in a fallen state or the fact that you are in a position that is lower or a position that is not upright? For you to arise means for you to stand upright. And God will always start with that; arise! “Go into the city and you will be told what to do. 7 And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. 8 Then Saul arose from the ground.” (And Saul arose from religion, from self-deception and he arose from his fallen state) and when his eyes were opened, he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was there three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.”

 

This was a picture of how Apostle Paul started his journey, his true-life mission. He was in a pseudo mission/assignment that he thought it was from the Lord. Many of us are occupied; Jesus said “occupy till I come”, but we have been wrongly occupied. The occupation that we are engaging at this time is not as the Lord commanded. Many people are deep in the river of religion thinking they are pleasing God like Saul. Do you know what it takes for the chief priest to give somebody a letter, saying “go, in my name, in my authority go and perform?” He was a worthy representative, he had gone through the Bible School, he had gone through the theological college, he had gone through the seminary, he had been schooled. But was he a worthy representative of God? No!

 

We have in the church as we speak many people that are like Saul. They believe they are on a mission for God but that mission is a mission of religion. The mission of God is about Kingdom. And that’s why they had a problem with Jesus when He came on the scene. Everybody at the time on the earth were on a mission for religion. We had pharisees, we had Sadducees. That’s why a Nicodemus would come to Jesus at night and say “I love what you are doing. What you are doing, we have read  it before, what you are doing, we know that the hand of God is on it, but we have been schooled, this is the structure”, and Jesus said; “until you become born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God” Until you are born again you cannot experience kingdom mission. Until you become born again, i.e. of water and of the Spirit you cannot enter into kingdom mission.

 

Religious mission is all over the place. We see people all over the place who can live and die for their Pastors. They can live and die for their denominations. But how many men and women can live and die for Christ? That’s what Kingdom is all about. Saul, was so passionate, but you ask yourself, what was his passion, what was the end of his passion? So that the Chief Priest can be happy with him? So that his lecturers can be proud of him? Was it that Christ be glorified, was it that God be glorified? In everything he did, from stoning Stephen, going from one place to another persecuting the church, how was God glorified? So, the Lord changed this young man on that encounter. I want us to see Acts 9:13-16 to see how that people were afraid of him.

 

“Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine (his mission has changed, he is now a changed man) to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children [ of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” Verse 15 and 16 led us into the new mission assignment of Paul. So, God called Paul His chosen vessel. Every Missionary is a chosen vessel of God. And God confirmed that call, if you go to Acts 12:25, we will see how Paul started, Saul at that time with Barnabas how he came into the church, and he was resisted at first, but later on when they saw the hand of God upon him, he was absorbed into the church.

 

If you go to Acts 13:1-3 we see the confirmation of the call of God. And when they were praying the Holy Spirit said unto them, separate unto me Paul and Barnabas for the work that I have called them, so we see the confirmation of this call. But we are going to see the heart of Paul after this encounter. Who did Paul become? What was his heart as a missionary? Romans 1:1, this was how Paul introduced himself: Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God.  2 which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures. Paul a bondservant of Jesus Christ, no longer Paul a disciple or a student of Gamaliel. This is now Paul a bondservant of Jesus Christ. His heart has changed and he doesn’t need letter anymore from the Chief Priest, he receives revelation and vision from the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

If you are on a mission and the mission is based on a letter from your denomination, that mission is questionable. Every mission is assigned by God, and it is specific and it is clear. It can only be confirmed by men, men cannot assign you a kingdom mission. Kingdom missions are assigned by God. See the heart of Paul in Galatians 1:1, how his heart has been transformed. “Paul, an apostle not from men”, he used to be Saul a student of Gamaliel, from men, but when he received kingdom mission, he said; “I am Paul an Apostle not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead. You will see his identity has changed because his heart has changed.

 

1 Timothy 1:1, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior.” Did you see any mention of man? Did you see any mention of Apostle James or Apostle Peter? “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope.” This man has changed, his location has changed, his identity has changed, the source of his mission has changed. The question is who are you? We have read about Paul, his introduction, his identity, who are you?

 

In Romans 8:35-39, apostle Paul speaking by the Holy Spirit said:

 

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

The heart of Paul is a missionary consumed with the love of Christ. A missionary must be consumed in the love of Christ. Philippians 3:8-10.Yet indeed I also count all things loss (everything I have achieved, everything I had and will have, I count all things lost) for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ” that’s the heart of a missionary, a missionary wants to gain Christ. 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, (like I used to) which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him (see his drive, see his passion. Before his drive is to please the chief priest and Gamaliel, his drive has changed, his drive is Christ, the zeal of the Lord has consumed him. That I may know Him; that’s my passion) and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.”  That is my mission, goal, passion and drive. That is what Apostle Paul was saying. That I may gain Christ. A missionary’s passion must be to know Christ, not to know people, not for connection, a missionary’s passion must be to know and gain Christ.

 

The Second point; A missionary’s passion must be to go all the way for Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:22-26, talking about the sufferings of Apostle Paul for Christ.

 

Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So, am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ? —I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren. 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fasting often, in cold and nakedness”

 

Did we see that? A missionary must be able to go all the way for Christ. That was the heart of Paul. Apostle Paul was willing to go all the way. So much so that a particular prophet took his girdle and tied it and said this is how they would tie the owner of this girdle. He said “see prophet I am not only willing to be bound; I am willing die.” That was his heart. You must be willing and able to go all the way for Christ and this is and this is how a missionary can do it. 1Corinthians 15:30-32. Let us see the secret of Apostle Paul.

 

“And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour? 31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” (that was his secret) 32 If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” How does he die daily? Let us see Galatians 2:20 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  This is how I die daily; I am crucified with Christ. So, for a missionary to be able to go all the way for Christ, the missionary must be ready and willing to go to any length for Christ, the missionary must be ready to die daily, to be crucified with Christ on a daily basis. A missionary must not count his or herself to have attained.

 

This is another secret of Apostle Paul. Philippians 3:12-16.Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on”, A missionary in the kingdom must be willing to press on. You don’t quit, you don’t retreat, you don’t surrender. that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind”, all the success stories, all the accomplishments, all the testimonies, all the souls I have won, I forget them behind, “and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.”

 

As missionaries on the earth, we must be of this mind. Forgetting the things that are behind and pressing on. A missionary must not consider his or herself to have attained, to have apprehended, don’t think at this point I am okay, let me just be quiet, let me just enjoy. Why did God kill the rich fool? He built a ban for himself and said “now my soul rest and delight yourself in all this increase” and the Bible says; that very day, his soul was required of him. You don’t plateau, you don’t become complacent, you don’t surrender, you don’t say to yourself now at this point, I am okay. No! You press on. A missionary must press on.

 

Now let us see the hallmark of the heart of a missionary. Philippians 1:21. What is the hallmark of the heart of the missionary? Let us see this statement made by Apostle Paul. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (NKJV). I want to read it in the Amplified Version. It says; For to me, to live is Christ [He is my source of joy, my reason to live.] That must be the pledge of every missionary. For me to live is Christ, He is my source of joy, my reason to live and to die is gain. So, a missionary is not afraid of death. (for I will be with Him in eternity). Because we close our eyes on earth and we open it in the presence of our Father. That was the story of Stephen.

 

While they were stoning Stephen on earth, he was gazing into heaven, seeing Jesus standing up for him. Stephen was not afraid of death, he shamed death. Missionaries are men and women that shamed death. For me to live is Christ and to die is gain, it’s of benefit. This is our marching theme; for me to live is Christ and to die is gain. They loved not their lives not even to death, they over came by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony. They loved not their lives even to death. For you to receive a mission for the Kingdom, you have seen something to live and die for. Until you have found something to live and die for, you are not in a mission in the kingdom.

 

The mission in the kingdom is to find something to live and die for. That’s how the Apostles lived. Peter was excited to have died the way he died. If you go to the book of Hebrews 11, because some of us will look at faith, and we look at faith just in the things like Abraham had Isaac by faith and all that. But it said; “some gave up their lives in faith.” They were thrown into hot oil in faith. That is mission. Apostle Peter was crucified, turned upside down, that’s the kind of death, agonizing death on the earth but a joyful death in heaven. That’s mission. Finding something to live and die for. That’s the passion and the zeal, that’s what kingdom is about.

 

Jesus came on the earth three and a half years and he found something to live and die for. He died in hope that all of us will group for Him, turn to Him, to give and gladden the heart of the Father. He gave up Himself and He is living, and sitting at the right hand of the Father and making intercession for us. That was His mission. That’s why when you go to the book of Revelation Jesus is still been described as a lamb that was slain. Because His mission is alive and not dead, He is living. That’s why you will see true men that lived and walked on this part of the earth, their works still speaks after them, their mission is still living. Apostle Paul is dead and gone several years ago, and his life is still living as a mission example for us. Because he found something to live and die for. 

 

I believe it is a good time to pray. Say “Lord help me to recognize and know that which you have called me to live and die for, give me the heart of a missionary that loves you and count everything as loss for the sake of the kingdom.”


Thanks for the gift of your time, I am Lara Gboyega Adedeji!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!


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Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.



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Missionary The Apostle Paul Heart Religion Pharisees SadduceesOctober2020


You will subdue kingdoms and wrought righteousness with nothing else except by faith. A missionary that finds it difficult to believe God will have a limited experience of what God can really do with his or her life.


Published: Apeh Francis Abah | Thursday 22nd October 2020


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You will subdue kingdoms and wrought righteousness with nothing else
  You will subdue kingdoms and wrought righteousness with nothing else
  You will subdue kingdoms and wrought righteousness with nothing else
  You will subdue kingdoms and wrought righteousness with nothing else
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I am a Woman of God's Purpose in Nigeria. I Coach Women in Leadership for true National Emancipation. I am a Spiritual Identity Mentor & ED, Flickers of Hope Foundation, Abuja-Nigeria!


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